Creating landing pages, sales pages or squeeze pages has never been easier, with new platforms and tools appearing pretty much every single month. Today we decided to look at two separate platforms, that offer some very similar functionality, but in a very different style. It's time to put the WordPress Plugin Thrive Themes vs ClickFunnels, to see how they match up.
Throughout this comparison, we will look at the features that both of these companies have to offer, the pricing, what other programs or products you need to make them work to their full capacity and of course, how useful they are!
Thrive Themes Architect - Quick Overview
Thrive Architect is a WordPress plugin developed by the Thrive Themes team, and is a stand-alone plugin, that can be used along side the suite of other tools and plugins that are on offer.
The plugin is designed to help you increase the functionality and overall aesthetic of your WordPress website, letting you create both stand alone landing pages, and improve the standard use of a WordPress post.
Thrive Architect comes with a number of features including;
- Drag & Drop WordPress Page Builder (Post & Pages)
- Optin & Email Capture Tools
- Variety of blocks to help build a varied page
- Integrations & Addons, including other Thrive products
- Pre-built page templates (and funnels)
Most people knock WordPress and state it's simply not fit to be used to use such products or tools on, but it's currently used by around 45% of the internet. With 450m+ websites using it.
ClickFunnels - Quick Overview
Possibly one of the most famous funnel builders of current times, ClickFunnels has grown to almost dominate the funnel building or page building market, with Russel Brunnsons training, webinars and tools almost everywhere.
ClickFunnels is known as a SaaS platform, one that hosts your funnels and pages for you, meaning you don't have to have multi hosts or domains set across those hosts.
There are a number of features that ClickFunnels comes with, including;
- Quick and easy to create sales 'funnel' with a number of pages or steps
- Create each page as you wish, changing layouts, design, imagery and urgency indicators
- Upsell, downsell and cross-sell funnels, designed to increase the checkout
- Checkout capabilities
- Abandon cart & retarget capabilities
- Integrations with other platforms and services
- Email follow up
Page Builder Tools
The heart of both of these products, is the ability to create pages that can produce a lead, sale or capture someone's attention. A page builder needs to be quick, easy to use and varied in it's building abilities, with a variety of 'blocks' or 'sections' that can be added to a page.
The Thrive Themes Architect plugin allows you to transform a standard WordPress page, into an interesting and easy to read article filled with buttons, tabs, testimonials and videos.
The classic WordPress editor didn't allow for users to easy add a video, table or calls to actions, without adding 4 or 5 separate plugins. Each plugin had to play nicely with each other, and at times would crash or cause issues. Thrive Architect provided a blogger, or website owner 30+ different 'blocks' that can be added to a page without having to worry about clashes.
The builder itself is well laid out, with blocks on the right, that can be dragged onto a page, with each one one slotting onto the page with relative ease. Blocks can also be added next to each other, to start building 'columns' inside of the post.
With 30+ blocks, blog owners has a near endless number of variations and styles for a post to look like.
Some blocks come with the ability to add additional material, or integrate with other platforms, for example YouTube, Social Media or Maps. Each one can be updated or swapped out by using the left hand tool bar.
Updating the source allows you to upload your own videos, or change the original platform, without having to integrate or mess around with HTML or code.
Pre-built sections can be added to pages, using the same builder, allowing you to group a number of individual blocks into one single block and to create something new, or even keep posts looking similar and uniform.
Finally, Thrive Architect also allows you to create full landing pages and funnels (it takes a bit more time than a funnel builder). The landing pages or even sales pages can be pre-loaded, or can be built using the same building blocks found above.
But, you can override the theme that covers your site to create a completely stand alone page. Choosing the 'pre-built' landing page will hide menus, headers and footers and let you load a whole new skin on top of your site. With around 270 different pre-built pages, you have a fair number to choose from.
Choosing one of these means you can swap out the wording and images without having to work out the best way to lay everything out.
For example the above page was created as an example of what could be created when using the Thrive Architect plugin. This means you can instantly change a standard looking blog, into a focused, or completely different looking website, in around 15 - 20minutes. Of course you will need to create separate WordPress pages if you want to funnel people through different upsells or downsells, and Thrive cannot give you an overview of this.
Created as a stand alone platform, ClickFunnels doesn't require additional hosting or tools such as WordPress, and can be used without a domain (you can simply use a ClickFunnels subdomain, though it's difficult to promote or share links as they get spammed quite badly).
As with Thrive Architect, the page builder can allow you to create some pretty cool looking landing pages or sales pages, as well as loading pre-built templates that can then be edited and updated as you wish.
Elements can be added to pages, by either clicking the 'add elements' button, or by finding the orange button below each section. I personally find it more difficult to use the ClickFunnels page builder, as it can be difficult to get the 'add' buttons to appear, and the actual elements can bug out and decide to not end up where you thought you had placed them.
Of course, ClickFunnels gives you similar options when it comes to dealing with videos or images, giving you multiple places for you to load your hosted videos from. Including Vimeo or YouTube.
Though you may notice that ClickFunnels load everything on the right hand side, be it updating a video source or adding a new image, it means you can only do one thing at once. Whereas Thrive uses both side of the screen to allow a less cluttered approach.
You will also need to click a number of times to actually open the elements section, which can be tedious.
There is also no way to add 'bundles' of elements, which again can be annoying and time consuming, especially if you are trying to build a sales page that is comparing products, or showing different pricing etc. The elements also don't allow for different variations or themes.
A great example of this is the stark difference between Pricing table elements/blocks. Thrive Architect allow you to change the style, colours and let you load in 20 different pricing tables. ClickFunnels offers 1, and to be honest, it's just some text blocks above each other. No styling, just a single column.
Addons & Integrations
Being able to extend out a landing page or a funnel can be hugely beneficial to a user, especially as these platforms are designed to help you build pages, not offer checkout experiences or deal with webinars and emails.
Thrive Architect is part of the Thrive Themes family which means there are a number of other products that can be bolted on, or added too it to enhance what it can do. As well as having the ability to integrate with other platforms.
The different plugins or products that you can add extends out the use case for Thrive Architect, including the ability to create Quizzes, capture leads on your site more effectively, A/B testing of your newly built pages, or even create a membership area with Thrive Apprentice.
As well as the other products on offer from Thrive, there are also a number of platforms that can be fairly easily integrated with, using Thrive API connection.
There are around 30 different platforms or services that can be connected, a lot of them focus around email responders such as GetResponse or ActiveCampaign (this site actually connects to both). As well as SMS delivery services or sites such as GoToWebinar to host your webinars with.
Adding the integrations is pretty quick and easy, they are set up once on a 'site' basis, a user will need to connect both sites together, usually with the API key and a secret code.
Once this has been set up for your website, you can then choose to add these connections for different areas or different products within your pages.
Updating the connections and adding new ones is pretty straight forward, and only takes a few clicks to set it up and get sorted. It can be difficult to
The alternative option is that you can use WordPress plugins and use the WordPress 'content' section, that allows you to input additional integrations into pages. There is also the option of adding HTML elements if you want to be brave.
As ClickFunnels is a standalone platform, it doesn't have the benefits of say WordPress to fall back onto, so it has to build these connections themselves.
ClickFunnels has the same number of integrations and addons as Thrive, giving around 30-40 different sites to connect too.
As both ClickFunnels and Thrive have very similar jobs, there are some obvious similarities with the other platforms that can be integrated with.
For example Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign and GoToWebinar, the major difference is that it's 1 integration per funnel, you can't play around having different buttons or different lead gens going to different integrations (though I guess that's not that much of a problem).
Updating or sorting integrations is fairly easy, but there are issues with some of the API's, with them breaking and then requiring to be updated every few days or week.
Of course, if you own the Platinum Tier from ClickFunnels, then you don't need to integrate an autoresponder, as they have actually have one ready built into it. But, you will be paying $297 a month for the privilege.
Both of these options costs money, there is no real way around it, some way of another you will need to pay to succeed.
Thrive has a number of options available, depending on what you are trying to achieve and of course the number of sites.
The standard single site licence, is a one off price of $67, which allows you to install the Thrive Architect plugin onto a WordPress site. Or, for those who have multi-sites you can grab 5 licences for $97.
The other option, which is something to consider is the $19 per month tier. This gives access to all of the Thrive plugins, across 25 sites, which makes it pretty cost effective.
You will of course need hosting (with WordPress installed), so this can increase your cost (SiteGround is around $8 per month), so be sure to add that to your monthly cost (or yearly, depending on how you calculate your costs).
ClickFunnels pricing is a little easier to understand, as they simply have 2 tiers for you to choose from.
ClickFunnels 'standard' pricing is $97 per month, which gives you access to 3 connected domains, 20 funnels and 100,000 visitors, this means you can run multiple funnels and landing pages off of one account, without needing external hosting.
If you are someone who believe they need a little more out of their funnel builder, or you need additional funnels and domains that need connecting, then the ClickFunnels Platinum Tier is going to be the one for you. Costing $297 per month (or a little cheaper if you pick up the annual bundle) it also gives access to their autoresponder tools and the ability to create your own affiliate campaign.
Of course, I personally would struggle to find many people who need multiple domains or hundreds of funnels running at once, unless you are big on running ads towards lots of different offers.
Thrive Themes vs Clickfunnels - Is There A Winner?
I always find it difficult to declare outright winners, as it can massively depend on the scenarios in which you are choosing your platforms and what else you have going on.
For example, I use ClickFunnels to house some of my landing pages, but it's also the home of my free blog training. I then of course Thrive Architect across all my sites as I feel it's a really great page builder, and I also use it for some of my landing pages (especially if it relates to my blog, as it's just quick and easy to throw something up to capture a few emails).
As such, I would say that if you have zero interest in using WordPress, you are not a blogger and simply want to capture emails or make sales pages, then in the battle of Thrive Themes vs ClickFunnels, use ClickFunnels.
But, if you are a keen blogger, you want to be able to make clean, nice looking articles, as well as creating landing pages, or sales pages, then Thrive Themes is a pretty solid choice, especially at only $69 for a lifetime licence.
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.